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what is florida probate
When someone dies, any assets in their name will have to be correctly distributed or assigned,
and any debts or other obligations will have to be taken care of. The assets and debts are called
the estate of the deceased person. The procedure that settles the estate according to the
deceased's desires is called probate, and it must conform to the laws of their place of residence.
Someone who has never experienced probate before may well be intersted to know how it works
and the expected timetable to completion. Regrettably, no exact estimate can be given - each
estate will be unique, and that will affect how probate will be managed and how long it'll take.
There will be cases where probate's not necessary. If you and the decedent held any property as
joint owners with rights of survival, then that property should be legally yours upon the person's
death. Additionally, TOD (transfer on death) provisions, which allow the appointing of a
beneficiary, are available on some property, usually financial products such as IRAs. This is
commonly seen on financial accounts like IRAs. If you've been designated as a beneficiary on this
type of account, it should be conveyed to you relatively quickly and remain outside the probate
A few other assets that are usually not subject to probate are the proceeds of insurance policies
and resources that have been placed into properly configured trusts prior to the death of the
Even so, most of the assets held by the estate will have to go through probate. This can seem to
take forever, or be relatively speedy, depending on how complicated the estate turns out to be.
Filing all required paperwork, notifying and paying any creditors, appointment of the executor or
personal representative, and satisfying any taxes that the estate owes are just some of the
responsibilities of the probate process. Usually also required are appointment of the probate
attorney, inventory and appraisal of the estate's assets, and the final disbursement of the estate to
The process can be delayed if there is more than one beneficiary. The process can really be
slowed down if some of the beneficiaries are located outside the country. If the estate is disputed
or contested, that can really extend the necessary time frame. If the estate is large enough to be
required to file an estate tax return with the IRS, that will be an additional holdup. Estate tax
returns aren't processed very quickly by the IRS. If part of the estate is composed of unusual or
illiquid items, appraisal could take longer than usual. Most likely, the best way to approach
probate while waiting for your inheritance is to be patient but attentive to the procedure.